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Big Brain Academy: Wii Degree

Analyze delivers Match Blast, in which you're shown two large squares filled with smaller blocks. Then you'll have to knock out certain blocks in the second frame so that the remaining blocks form the same shape as the blocks in the first frame.

Then there's speed sorting, which will show you four images - say, four different animals - and ask you odd questions like "which one is the second smallest?" And Block Spot gives you an oddly shaped 3D block - picture a Rubik's Cube with about a third of its squares missing - and asks you to choose its twin from a crowd.

The fourth sub-group is Visualize. Two of its events are quite constructive: Art parts shows you a picture and watches how long it takes you to construct a duplicate by placing the bits (horse, house, sun, etc) in their proper places on the background. And Train Turn simply shows you a grid with a half-completed train track on it and asks you to lay the rest of the track. Finally, Odd One Out shows you four nearly identical animated pictures and measures how long it takes for you to choose which one is different.



Lastly (sort of - we'll get to that) comes Compute. It houses Balloon Burst, in which you pop numbered balloons in ascending or descending order, and Color Count, in which you watch blue and red balls bounce into a basket and then choose which color sank more. And bringing up the rear is Mallet Math, in which you see a tower of numbered blocks and have to knock out certain blocks in order to get the proper answer to a math problem.

But wait! There's more. It turns out, there are a few bonus games as well, such as a restaurant operator game in which you use the DS remote as a phone receiver. The customer calls and tells you through the remote speaker what they want, and you're charged with remembering the order long enough to write it down.  

Though clearly whimsical, many of these exercises are a snap to grasp - that's the idea. The challenge comes from racing a friend to see who can get through 30 or so in a row. And the real beauty of it is, while the game supports a whopping eight players (in teams), you can also download the "ghosts" of friends and play against their virtual versions even when they're not around. Get ready to order some bigger hats - your cranium's about to get so much bigger, you'll look like a Mii.

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